Mike Hughes
refer to caption
Hughes in 2023
No. 21 – Atlanta Falcons
Personal information
Born: (1997-02-11) February 11, 1997 (age 27)
New Bern, North Carolina, U.S.
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:191 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school:New Bern
College:North Carolina (2015)
Garden City CC (2016)
UCF (2017)
NFL draft:2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 30
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • AAC Fifth Anniversary Team (2018)[1]
  • Second-team All-American (2017)
  • First-team All-AAC (2017)
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Total tackles:199
Forced fumbles:7
Fumble recoveries:4
Pass deflections:21
Defensive touchdowns:2
Return yards:430
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Mike Hughes (born February 11, 1997) is an American football cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at North Carolina before transferring to Garden City Community College and later to UCF. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Early years

Hughes attended New Bern High School, where he lettered in football, track & field, and basketball. Hughes played quarterback at New Bern.[2] As a senior in 2014, Hughes passed for 1,263 yards and 10 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,355 yards and 22 more touchdowns, guiding his team to an undefeated season and an NCHSAA 4A state championship. He was named to the all-state team and played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. Hughes was ranked the No. 3 cornerback in North Carolina and committed to the University of North Carolina to play college football.[3]

College career

Hughes played one year at North Carolina in 2015. In October 2015, he was suspended along with M. J. Stewart, and was charged with misdemeanor assault charges from an altercation that had occurred earlier that month.[4][5] He left the team after the season and transferred to Garden City Community College, where he spent a year.[6]

In 2017, Hughes transferred to the University of Central Florida (UCF)[7][8] and participated in UCF's undefeated 2017 season which ended in UCF being named National Champions by the Colley Matrix poll.[9][10][11] Hughes made headlines with his game-sealing 95-yard kickoff return in the November 24, 2017, War on I–4 game against the South Florida Bulls,[12][13][14][15] with Orlando Sentinel writer Shannon Green remarking that the play saved the undefeated season for the Knights.[15]

Hughes left UCF after one season, deciding to forgo his senior year and enter the 2018 NFL Draft.[16]

Professional career

External videos
video icon Hughes' NFL Combine workout
video icon Hughes gets drafted by Minnesota
Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 10+18 in
(1.78 m)
189 lb
(86 kg)
30+78 in
(0.78 m)
8+34 in
(0.22 m)
4.53 s 1.58 s 2.68 s 4.13 s 6.70 s 35+12 in
(0.90 m)
10 ft 7 in
(3.23 m)
20 reps
All values from NFL Draft[17][18]

Minnesota Vikings

On April 26, 2018, the Minnesota Vikings selected Hughes in the first round, 30th overall, of the 2018 NFL Draft.[19] Hughes signed a four-year contract with the Vikings on July 19, 2018,[20][21][22][23] with St. Paul Pioneer Press writer Chris Tomasson reporting that Hughes had signed a $9.87 million deal with a signing bonus of $5.256 million.[21][22][23] In his NFL debut, he recorded a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown[24] in the Vikings' 24–16 season-opening win over the San Francisco 49ers.[25] On October 14, 2018, in a Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals, Hughes suffered a torn ACL, prematurely ending his rookie season.[26][27]

Hughes entered the 2019 season as the fourth cornerback on the Vikings depth chart. In Week 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Hughes forced a fumble on rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman on a kickoff return and the ball was recovered by teammate Holton Hill in the 26–23 loss.[28] He was placed on injured reserve on January 3, 2020, with a neck injury.[29] He finished the season with 45 tackles, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and an interception through 14 games and three starts.

Hughes entered the 2020 season as the Vikings' top starting cornerback alongside rookie starter Cameron Dantzler. He was placed on injured reserve on October 30, 2020.[30]

The Vikings declined to exercise the fifth year option on Hughes' contract on May 3, 2021, making him an unrestricted free agent following the 2021 season.[31]

Kansas City Chiefs

Hughes with the Chiefs in 2021

On May 13, 2021, Hughes, along with a seventh-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, was traded to the Chiefs in exchange for a sixth-round selection.[32]

In Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, Hughes intercepted a pass from Baker Mayfield late in the 4th quarter sealing a Chiefs 33–29 victory.[33][34] In Week 14, Hughes had a breakout game recording nine tackles, two forced fumbles and a 23 yard fumble return for a touchdown in a 48-9 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week.[35]

Detroit Lions

On March 21, 2022, the Detroit Lions signed Hughes to a one-year contract.[36]

Atlanta Falcons

On March 20, 2023, Hughes signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.[37]


  1. ^ "American Announces Fifth Anniversary Football Team". American Athletic Conference. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  2. ^ Hays, Chris. "Former coach: UCF transfer Mike Hughes is 'gift from God' for Knights". Orlando Sentinel.
  3. ^ Blake, J. Mike (December 22, 2014). "High school notebook: New Bern's Hughes picks UNC". Charlotte News Observer.
  4. ^ "UNC's Stewart, Hughes face misdemeanor assault charges". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. October 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Shanker, Jared (October 16, 2015). "Tar Heels suspend 2 corners following arrests". ESPN.
  6. ^ "Football: Hughes no longer on UNC football team". Sun Journal. February 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Hays, Chris (August 20, 2017). "Former coach: UCF transfer Mike Hughes is 'gift from God' for Knights". Orlando Sentinel.
  8. ^ Hays, Chris (August 18, 2017). "UCF adds experience in juco CB Mike Hughes to roster". Orlando Sentinel.
  9. ^ "2017 Rankings, Week 17". Colley Matrix. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "Football Bowl Subdivision Records" (PDF). NCAA. p. 109. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Seeley, Andy (January 10, 2018). "Knights Ranked No. 1 - UCF" (Press release). UCF Athletics. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  12. ^ Green, Shannon (November 30, 2017). "UCF playmaker Mike Hughes eager to finish strong in AAC title game". Orlando Sentinel.
  13. ^ Kercheval, Ben (November 25, 2017). "Three TDs in 53 seconds? UCF beats USF in college football's game of the year". CBS Sports.
  14. ^ Adelson, Andrea (November 25, 2017). "Inside the play: 95-yard kickoff return is the perfect ending for UCF's wild win". ESPN.com.
  15. ^ a b Green, Shannon (March 7, 2018). "ESPN analyst Todd McShay calls Mike Hughes 'difference-maker' in NFL". Orlando Sentinel.
  16. ^ McGuire, Kevin (January 8, 2018). "UCF CB and special teams returner Mike Hughes declares for NFL Draft". NBC Sports.
  17. ^ "NFL Draft Prospect Profile - Mike Hughes". nfl.com. March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  18. ^ "Central Florida CB Mike Hughes : 2018 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". NFLDraftScout.com. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  19. ^ "Vikings Select Central Florida CB Mike Hughes In Round 1". Vikings.com. April 26, 2018. Archived from the original on April 27, 2018.
  20. ^ Teope, Herbie (July 19, 2018). "Vikings first-round CB Mike Hughes signs rookie deal". NFL. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  21. ^ a b @christomasson (July 19, 2018). "#Vikings CB Mike Hughes gets a four-year, $9.87 million deal. He received a signing bonus of $5.256 million" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ a b Tomasson, Chris (July 19, 2018). "Vikings sign first-round draft pick Mike Hughes". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  23. ^ a b Dill, Jason (July 19, 2018). "Former UCF star was picked in NFL Draft first round. Now he signed his rookie deal". Miami Herald. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  24. ^ Vikings' CB Mike Hughes' First Pick-Six Against Jimmy Garoppolo.
  25. ^ "Vikings defense forces four turnovers, including rookie's pick-six, to beat 49ers 24-16". Twin Cities. September 9, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  26. ^ Alper, Josh (October 15, 2018). "Mike Zimmer confirms torn ACL for Mike Hughes". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  27. ^ Peters, Craig (October 16, 2018). "Vikings Bring Back DT David Parry". Vikings.com.
  28. ^ "Butker's late FGs help Chiefs rally past Vikings, 26-23". www.espn.com. November 3, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  29. ^ "Minnesota Vikings re-sign Marcus Sherels, place Mike Hughes on injured reserve". Daily Norseman. SB Nation. January 3, 2020.
  30. ^ "Vikings Place CB Mike Hughes on Reserve/Injured List; Announce Roster Moves". Vikings.com. October 30, 2020.
  31. ^ @Vikings (May 3, 2021). "The #Vikings will not exercise Mike Hughes' fifth-year option" (Tweet). Retrieved May 5, 2021 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ Gordon, Grant (May 13, 2021). "Chiefs trade for Vikings CB Mike Hughes". NFL.com.
  33. ^ "Chiefs vs. Browns score, takeaways: Kansas City survives Week 1 scare, bounces back late to beat Cleveland". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  34. ^ "Can't-Miss Play: Mike Hughes' leaping INT seals Chiefs' win over Browns". NFL.com. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  35. ^ Gordon, Grant (December 15, 2021). "Chargers QB Justin Herbert, 49ers TE George Kittle lead NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  36. ^ "Report: Lions sign CB Mike Hughes to a 1-year contract". prideofdetroit.com. March 21, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  37. ^ McElhaney, Tori (March 20, 2023). "Falcons sign cornerback Mike Hughes to two-year deal". AtlantaFalcons.com. Retrieved March 20, 2023.